Cover-Up: Mystery at the Super Bowl by John Feinstein is a fictional story about two kid reporters, Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson. The two find themselves uncovering a scandal that will end up affecting the entire Super Bowl and everyone involved. These two fourteen year-olds leave their homes to cover the biggest sporting event of the year in Indianapolis: the Super Bowl. The fight for the championship is between the AFC Champion Baltimore Ravens and the new expansion team from the NFC, the California Dreams. But a stupid mistake by a team doctor leads to news being told to Susan Carol that no one was supposed to hear: the entire offensive line for the Dreams had failed their doping tests, testing positive for HGH, or steroids. The team’s owner, Don Meeker, is involved in the whole cover-up, and he has tried to conceal the results of the tests until after the huge game is over. This puts both young reporters in a tough situation. They could report the story and ruin the game, or let the Super Bowl go on and let the cheaters raise the trophy.
As a football fan and also as a fourteen year-old just like the main characters, I found myself really enjoying this book. The fact that the two reporters were my age made me like it even more. At the end of practically every chapter was a cliff-hanger that always heightened the suspense and made me want to continue to the next one. I think that the storyline was well-thought out, making this book a very interesting and fun read. I also liked the humour used in the character’s dialogue. There were a lot of funny parts that I thought were very clever. As I mentioned earlier, the fact that the main characters were the same age as me and that they went to the Super Bowl allowed me to enjoy, as well as connect, to the book. This past football season, I watched all of the Patriots games, and even some games around the rest of the NFL. I am a passionate fan of the Pats and I was ecstatic when they won Super Bowl LI. Since this entire story was based around football and the Super Bowl specifically, it really interested me and appealed to what I like. The major main character in this book was Stevie Thomas, a fourteen year-old boy, like me. Most of the story was narrated about his thoughts and his actions. This allowed me to relate to what he was going through in his life in a way.
Although I think that many people could read, and enjoy, this book, I feel that its ideal audience is kids, teenagers, football fans, and just sports fans in general. Cover-Up was obviously intended to target younger readers, seeing that the two main characters were only fourteen years old. This focus on a somewhat young age group allows these readers to connect more to the book, just like I was able to connect to it myself. There is also a part to this book that has the ability to attract any sports fan. This story gave a behind-the-scenes look into Super Bowl week and any football fan would love to read something that lets them into the world of football outside of the games. The game in general is what could interest any sports fanatic out there. The intense competition and the fact that the Super Bowl, the event portrayed in the final chapters of Cover-Up, is the biggest stage in a player’s career can appeal to anyone that adores sports and everything about them. Also, this book could attract people that like books with mystery and suspense, as well as some comedy. This whole story is based around a mystery, and with each chapter that passes, the suspense gets higher and higher. Even anyone looking for a laugh could find what they were seeking in this book. The clever one-liners spoken by the main characters were able to lighten the mood at certain points in an overall thrilling story.